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by Alistair Lee

Created

August 7, 2014

Introducing Adobe Connect 9.3

I’m very pleased to let you know about the next release of Adobe Connect. We’re planning on making version 9.3 of Adobe Connect available to our customers in early fall and it’s packed with exciting new features for every use case.

Here are some of my favorites.

Screen Sharing Improvements

Screen sharing is the most common activity in an Adobe Connect room, so we put a lot of effort into helping customers stay engaged in what’s happening in the meeting while they’re sharing their screen. To that end, we’re introducing a new screen sharing control panel that enables someone who is sharing their screen to see a preview of what’s being shared, control the video and the audio in the meeting, manage participants, interact with chat as well as see and respond to any notifications.

Screen Sharing Palette

 

The screen sharing control panel is launched automatically, but it is only seen by the individual who is screen sharing and it can be moved around to ensure it’s not blocking any content. Customers who prefer a full-size preview on a second monitor can click the arrow in the top-left corner to return to the meeting and use the old method. You’ll never have to ask “Can you see my screen?” again. You can see a video of the screen sharing control panel here.

In addition to the new screen sharing control panel, Adobe Connect 9.3 makes it easier to determine what is about to be shared. When you choose to share your screen, you’re now given a preview of what you’re about to share. For example, on the Desktop tab, you can see which screen you’ll be sharing if you have two monitors. On the Windows and Applications tabs, you’ll see a preview of all of the different applications and documents that are available. You can select one or more of these. Even better – once you start your screen share, Adobe Connect will automatically highlight what is being broadcast in the meeting.

Screen Sharing Preview

Life-like Whiteboard

Adobe has an incredible legacy of creating some of the best drawing tools on the planet for both desktop and mobile apps. In Adobe Connect 9.3, we’re leveraging that technology to make our own tools for drawing and annotating much better. We’ve created a consistent experience between desktop and mobile and we’ve designed the interface to work well whether you’re using your finger, stylus, or mouse. In addition to much more precision, you’ll see some new tools that are available – like new pen and pencil tools that join our improved marker and highlighter. You’ll also see a brand new color picker and the ability to arrange layers.

Whiteboard

Customers can now use their virtual whiteboard the same way they would use a physical whiteboard in a classroom. When combined with a mobile device, it makes for an easy way to write equations or notes.

iPad-Equations

Guided Hints

Adobe Connect is incredibly feature-rich, and we wanted to make it easier for customers to discover some of those features. In Adobe Connect 9.3, we’re introducing a series of guided hints to help our easily accomplish some common activities. The hints change based on your role – and many of them are animated to show customers exactly where to click. We think you’ll love them, but you can turn them off with a click of a button if you don’t.

Tips for Hosts

More Social Media Integration

With Adobe Connect 9.2, we added the ability for customers to use their social media profile (Facebook or Google) to register for an event. This eliminated the need for users to remember yet another username and password combination. In Adobe Connect 9.3 we wanted to extend that functionality by enabling our customers to crowd source event promotion. Events can now be customized to include Twitter and Facebook buttons to spread the word about your event.

SocialTools

In addition to using social media to promote your event, we’ve also got a new social media pod that’s available now. The Social Stream pod brings the conversation from Twitter and Instagram right into your meeting. The host can configure specific hashtags to search for and even post to Twitter directly from the Adobe Connect room. The pod is synchronized with all of the other participants in the Adobe Connect room. The pod works with Adobe Connect 9.2 as well, so you can download it today.

SocialStream

Email Reports

Event analytics have become one of the most critical features of Adobe Connect. In Adobe Connect 9.3, we’ve added a new downloadable report to give our customers more insight into the emails that have been sent out. This report not only shows which emails were sent, to who, and when, but includes a status indicator to let the Event Manager know if the email has bounced back or if the customer has opted out. In fact, the ability to include an opt-out option for email is another new feature we’ve added to Adobe Connect 9.3.

More Integrations

We’ve also made Adobe Connect more efficient by adding integrations with SalesForce.com and Microsoft Lync 2013.

Customers who use SalesForce.com to manage their leads will no longer have to wait until after the event to manually upload a list of leads. A new saleforce.com app will soon be available for Adobe Connect 9.3 customers which will enable them to see all of their Adobe Connect events and registrations immediately within salesforce.com. Customers can even invite their existing salesforce.com leads to an event and many Event analytics will be viewable in salesforce.com to help our customers qualify leads. You can see a video of the integration here.

We took this opportunity to expand our Microsoft Lync 2010 integration and we’ll be releasing a new MS Lync 2013 add-in with Adobe Connect 9.3. This add-in enables customers to quickly jump into an Adobe Connect meeting room directly from their MS Lync contacts list.

More Everything

Those are some of the top new features – but you’ll see even more improvements as your account is upgraded in early Fall including an improved dial-out dialog for customers using integrated telephony, the ability to turn on audible chat notifications, additional options when in the Attendees pod, and much more.

Requirements

One of the things we’re not changing is the version of Flash Player required to attend an Adobe Connect 9.3 meeting. We’re maintaing the requirement of Flash Player 11.2 that we introduced in Adobe Connect 9.2. That being said, we always recommend upgrading to the latest version of Flash Player when possible. Mobile users can continue to use Adobe Connect Mobile to participate in and even host Adobe Connect meetings.

We have developed a new add-in for Adobe Connect 9.3 that will be required for presenters and hosts to take advantage of these great new features. We’ve already posted the new add-in on our Downloads and Updates page. You can start using it immediately to prepare for Adobe Connect 9.3 in early Fall.

As we get closer to the release, we’ll provide more details around timing. Until then, we hope you’re as excited about some of the great innovation that’s happening on Adobe Connect as we are. Let us know your favorite new feature in the comments.

 

Alistair Lee

Alistair Lee

In his role as Sr. Enablement Manager for Adobe Connect, Alistair helps to enable customers to communicate, collaborate and train more effectively.  During his 15 year tenure at Adobe Systems, Alistair has held a number of technology related roles that include consulting, evangelism and marketing. 

Adobe Connect is a web conferencing platform, powering complete solutions for web meetingseLearning, and webinars, on any device.

COMMENTS

  • By Darren - 1:25 PM on August 7, 2014  

    No resolve to the recording problem? Mobile devices can attend live but cannot replay recorded sessions – frustrating for online learners who use an iPad or Android device. Any likelihood in the future?

    • By Alistair Lee - 8:02 AM on August 8, 2014  

      We have an MP4 conversion service available that can do server-side conversions of your recordings so they can be played on mobile devices.

      • By David - 10:40 AM on August 11, 2014  

        Where can we find more information on the MP4 Conversion service?

      • By David - 10:43 AM on August 11, 2014  

        Also, does the mp4 version remain hosted on the adobe connect server so it can be shared with students or does it need to be downloaded offline and hosted elsewhere?

        • By Alistair Lee - 6:53 AM on August 12, 2014  

          It remains on the Adobe Connect server so that you can simply point mobile users to a URL. You’ve also got the option of downloading a local copy.

  • By Manuel Rivera - 8:42 PM on August 7, 2014  

    My name is Manuel Rivera and I live in Peru, I’m the only specialized Connect reseller, I worked for Macromedia and know since Macromedia it was called before Presedia and Breeze.

    I am an Evangelist Connect to Peru, I have several clients who use it and more and more, and each new version makes customers want more and are convinced that there are always great experiences Adobe.

    thank you very much for everything

  • By Susannah Silver - 1:34 AM on August 8, 2014  

    Hi, the new screensharing controls will be very useful particularly if instructors are using one monitor – what’s the view like on an iPad? We’ve just been evaluating AC 9.2 and found that the breakout rooms dialogue box can’t be moved – is it moveable in 9.3?

    • By Alistair Lee - 8:06 AM on August 8, 2014  

      The screen sharing control panel is only visible to the individual sharing her screen; so it wouldn’t be visible on an iPad. I’m not sure what the breakout room dialogue box is that you’re referring to – but all pods should be moveable in a breakout room for anyone with host rights.

  • By Mevlut ERSOY - 7:52 AM on August 8, 2014  

    is Adobe Connect 9 software installed in Windows 2012 server ?

    • By Alistair Lee - 8:03 AM on August 8, 2014  

      Yes – we’ve got an on-premise version that can be installed on Windows Server, but it’s also sold as a hosted service that doesn’t require any installation at all.

  • By Eric Paul Monroe - 9:34 AM on August 8, 2014  

    Will the host and presenters be able to see each other’s mouse cursors?

    • By Alistair Lee - 12:23 PM on August 8, 2014  

      Absolutely – this has always been an option in Preferences under the General tab.

  • By David King - 10:20 PM on August 10, 2014  

    Hi – sounds like great updates. I tried the Social Pod today in 9.2, which is a great idea for many industry group sessions we run. However, I found the pod takes up WAY to much space on the screen to be actually useable. The tweets themselves are presented in those big boxes that it’s pretty useless unless you make the pod itself huge. If we put some slides, a logo and a Q&A box on the screen, and then left some space for the Social Pod, it was useless as you could barely see one tweet at a time (worse on smaller monitors). Just seems like way to much “space” around everything in the pod itself.

    We also found that many participants couldn’t actually tweet from the pod as when they clicked “Post To Stream” the box that opened for the tweet was mis-aligned to the left edge, so that 80% of that box was not visible. Could only be fixed by making the pod huge (see first problem). Shame cause otherwise it would be great. But just not feasible if we want to have much else on the screen at the same time.

    Hopefully an update with an improved (tighter, smaller) layout soon?

    • By Alistair Lee - 6:27 AM on August 11, 2014  

      Thanks for your feedback David. I’ll pass it on to the product team. As it’s a custom pod, it can be updated independently of Adobe Connect.

  • By Roy Crosby - 1:22 AM on August 11, 2014  

    Disappointed that the e-learning side of Connect seems to have stood still with very little enhancements since the introduction of the Training Catalogue. Considering Adobe have such great products as Captivate and Presenter, I’d have thought this was one area that would be addressed. The Training Catalogue for example needs some serious updating along with the reporting and admin sections. Looked at Noodle and Blackboard and, whilst they are a solution they lack the Adobe “touch” and ease of use. With the huge increase of e-learning within both education and businesses are Adobe missing a huge opportunity to create a flagship LMS.

    • By Alistair Lee - 6:27 AM on August 11, 2014  

      Thanks for your feedback Roy.

      It’s not available yet, but we announced a huge eLearning initiative from the Adobe Connect team a few weeks ago that addresses precisely those concerns. You can see our blog post on that here: http://blogs.adobe.com/adobeconnect/2014/05/make-learning-a-social-and-mobile-experience-introducing-adobe-experience-manager-communities-for-learning.html

      • By Roy Crosby - 4:01 PM on August 11, 2014  

        Thanks for the reply and the link to the article. If I’m reading it correctly it seems to be all about mobile learning. Now whilst that’s obviously the way technology is moving I still have concerns around the basics of being able to publish, market, report and giving students a simple way of accessing content. I’m aware Adobe is required to keep up with the latest use of technology but there appears to me to be a missing “bit” between what we have and where Adobe is now going. The ability for students/staff to easily pull down information/content when required is a fundamental requirement to the success of e-learning. Mobile learning is certainly one of those requirements but again I believe there is a gap

        • By Alistair Lee - 6:59 AM on August 12, 2014  

          The blog post is pretty focused on mobile since that’s a differentiator for us. However, the functionality is also completely accessible on the desktop as well. The idea is to move away from courses having to always be assigned to students (although that’s also possible) and make learning easier to discover and more accessible. Adding social features like recommendations, ratings, threaded conversations also help to keep students engaged in the content before, during, and after taking the course.

  • By Imran Bargir - 3:53 AM on August 11, 2014  

    This is Imran from Capgemini India. Just a quick question what is the launch date for AC 9.3. We are currently using 9.2 and are schedule to upgrade after the launch. Hence want to checkout on the the features on this version so that we can update our team.

    Could confirm when shall we get the AC 9.3 as a trial (on AC Website) to try the features as this will be helpful before the actual upgrade.

    • By Alistair Lee - 6:25 AM on August 11, 2014  

      Accounts will be upgraded in early fall. Not every account gets upgraded on the same day – but we will send out an additional communication at least 30 days ahead of your upgrade to let you know the specific date your account will move to 9.3.

  • By Tom Fierst - 5:01 AM on August 11, 2014  

    HI,

    Will we be able to upload keynote the way we can powerpoint? I find if constricting to have to share my screen when i use keynote, I can’t communicate as well with my audience.

    • By Alistair Lee - 6:23 AM on August 11, 2014  

      I’m afraid we haven’t added support for the Keynote format in Adobe Connect 9.3. Keynote itself doesn’t have a plug-in architecture that allows for Adobe Presenter functionality. I recommend using Keynote, but exporting to PPT when you want to upload directly to Adobe Connect.

  • By John Tedik - 5:14 PM on August 11, 2014  

    Very often I put all of my presentation notes in the PowerPoint file. In AC I can see the notes but the font is much too small for my old eyes and I cannot see the enhancements I’ve made to the notes (bold print, bullets, images). Is there any improvement in this area?

    • By Alistair Lee - 6:52 AM on August 12, 2014  

      No additional functionality in 9.3 around this – but the font size (and the font itself) can be adjusted for those speaker notes in the sidebar if you’re using Adobe Presenter. In PowerPoint, using the Adobe Presenter toolbar, choose ‘Theme’, the select a different font and/or size.

  • By John Tedik - 10:23 AM on August 12, 2014  

    I see that there is more support for using tablets with AC. Last year I attempted to use my Samsung Note 8 which has a pen but the lag was super bad. I also tried a Wacom pad and had the same delay. Is there a fix for this in the latest release. I’m running Win 8.1 x64. Because of the lag I switched to a mouse pen and this worked until I upgraded to Win 8 and I’m still looking for a solution.

    • By Alistair Lee - 11:12 AM on August 12, 2014  

      I think you’ll really like the new whiteboard tools; particularly if you’re running Windows 8 on a touchscreen system. They’ve been optimized for touch and although they work great with a mouse, using a stylus or your finger feels like a much more natural way to use the new tools.

  • By John - 10:25 AM on August 12, 2014  

    When will the limitations of the reporting side of Connect be addressed? It seems the Admin and LMS user experience is not receiving the same attention as the meeting rooms within Connect.

    • By Alistair Lee - 11:09 AM on August 12, 2014  

      Hi John,

      We’re constantly looking at ways in which we can integrate Adobe Analytics into the product to go beyond standard reporting. We’ve done that with the Events module in Adobe Connect 9. We’re also leveraging that same technology for eLearning in a future release. You can see some details here: http://blogs.adobe.com/adobeconnect/2014/05/make-learning-a-social-and-mobile-experience-introducing-adobe-experience-manager-communities-for-learning.html

      • By John - 12:57 PM on August 12, 2014  

        Thanks Alistair. While analytics is great and all, we just need easier ways to pull reports from our current trainings and a better user experience. For example we need to pull a total time it took a participant to complete a curriculum. And we need a better way to pull reports for overall survey results from a training.

  • By John Tedik - 10:54 AM on August 12, 2014  

    With this release is it possible to automatically start/stop the recording at a predetermined time? Currently my major client has AC automatically start after x students sign-in. But if the class is less than X I must manually start the recording and often I forget to manually start it/

    • By Alistair Lee - 11:05 AM on August 12, 2014  

      That’s not something we’ve added to this release – but it’s a feature that one of our partners (Refined Data) also found valuable. They’ve created a custom pod to do this automatically.
      You can get more info here: http://refineddata.com/autorecordpod/

  • By Bob young - 6:33 PM on August 20, 2014  

    The ability for presenters as well as student to dynamically resize the fonts in the notes pod would be very useful. For some situations where a third party has prepared a class, which is then presented by a “teacher”, being able to make the ” previously prepped” notes more readable would be extremely useful. This would make it easier for those with varying visual difficulties to customize the “canned” presentation for their specific needs.